Aiming to make a mark as one of the market's most powerful and sophisticated portable media players, Toshiba's Gigabeat MES30VW doesn't disappoint. The device employs Microsoft's intuitive Portable Media Center (PMC) software to play your favorite digital movies, music, and photos,
Microsoft's intuitive Portable Media Center makes it easy to play all your media. View larger.
You can also see the device in detail.
with support for WMA Lossless, WMA, MP3, WAV, WMV, DivX, and JPEG formats. The Windows Media Player application even transcodes MPEG-4, AVI, and MOV formats, making it far more versatile than most video-compatible players. Meanwhile, the MES30VW's 30 GB hard drive is capable of holding a ton of digital media, including about 7,500 songs (more than 500 complete album) at 128 kbps, a robust 15,000 songs at 64 kbps, and a still-impressive 850 songs, or 57 hours, of CD-resolution WAV files.
The PC-only device is also PlaysForSure-certified by Microsoft, which means that it will operate with any similarly designated management software or download service, such as Napster, Rhapsody, and Wal-Mart Music Downloads. Users can also subscribe to movies or TV shows via MTV/Microsoft's Urge, TiVo to Go, Starz Vongo, and a host of other sites. And because the MES30VW is automatically recognized by Windows Media Player 10, you won't need to install drivers of any kind.
Controlling the device couldn't be easier. View larger.
The MES30VW's defining feature, however, is its 2.4-inch QVGA display, which offers a resolution of 320 x 240 (65,000 colors) to ensure elite video and picture quality. Viewers who want to enjoy optimal resolution can switch to landscape mode, or they can output the signal to a full-size TV for group viewing. And serious music fans can download and view album covers on the screen, search for their favorite tracks by scrolling through the album covers, or even set a favorite album as a background image.
The device is prepared for future developments as well, as it's one of the first media players that can be connected to and controlled via the Xbox 360's interface. Finally, the MES30VW serves as a USB host, letting you connect a digital camera to the unit's USB port and then transfer and view the pics immediately--no PC required.
Additional features include a built-in FM tuner with 30 station presets, a docking cradle for charging, and a pair of headphones with an integrated remote control. The MES30VW, which offers roughly 20 hours of music playback per charge, measures a compact 2.38 by 3.94 by 0.62 inches (W x H x D) and is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
What's in the Box
MES30VW portable media player, AC adapter, AC adapter cable, earbuds, USB cable, USB conversion cable, AV cable, software CD-ROM, and quick start guide.